This week saw the release of Hack Attack, Nick Davies' astonishing account of the scandal that engulfed Britain (and Rupert Murdoch) in 2011, leading to the closure of the News Of The World. It's a reminder of the power of investigative journalism (even when it is investigating itself) to reshape politics and history. Here, we round up four other great books that tell true stories of the fourth estate at its most thrilling.More
The definitive book to emerge so far on the phone hacking scandal began as a series of articles for The Guardian in 2008. Reporter Nick Davies seeks to expose the full extent of the illegal goings on behind the scenes at The News Of The World, before taking on News International as a whole, with the help of empathetic politicians, police officers willing to speak off the record and the Labour MP Tom Watson.
As well as the phone hacking (and Scotland Yard's failure to properly investigate the scandal), Davies takes a measured and comprehensive approach to his investigation of Fleet Street journalism, detailing the culture of bullying, drugs, sex, alcohol and obsessive power (led from Murdoch down) that led Andy Coulson et al to believe they could get away with abusing their position for so long.
Hack Attack (Random House) is out now priced £9.98
Another investigation into Rupert Murdoch's media empire, this time focusing on his acquisition of The Sun in 1969 and hiring of former Daily Mail editor Sir Larry Lamb as editor.
Together the two set about reimagining the paper with a marketing strategy can be summarised in a single word, "sex" (although not homosexuality – Murdoch thought it would be bad for sales, asking "Do you really think the readers are interested in poofters?"). From the hiring of female journalists named "The Pacesetters" and their "Willie Wall", to the introduction of page three nudity, Horrie and Chippindale present an absorbing account of the newspaper and the men who redefined tabloid journalism.
Stick It Up Your Punter: The Uncut Story Of The Sun (Faber & Faber) £18.00